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THE NORMANS.

Poem

BY

ANTONY S. AGLEN.

THE NORMANS.

“Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change."

TENNYSON.

a

O! what a tuneful wonder hath the past
For him whose pulses beat in unison
With all the whirrings of Time's rapid wings!
For every motion of the whirling spheres
In their eternal orbits, every step
Upon the broadened upward-slanting road
Of golden science, every silver bell
That rings out wondrous truth and warrior stroke
Upon the jarring prison doors of self,
Blend in a rich and endless harmony,
Tho' mingled ever with the mournful sounds
Of woe and death, and evil clanging out
A dread defiance to the march of good.
'E'en as the younger Africanus heard
Hoarse discord mingling with a softer song
Unchanging, in the courses of the suns.
So strange a song has floated ever on
Through all the ages—as at even tide
Tall shadows grow along the purple sward, -
Now sounding heav'nly sweet, now false and harsh

a

1 Somn Scip. c.v.

Into the ripening present, and the hope
Of a more perfect future.

And full oft
The dreamy breeze of mem'ry softly sweeps
Across the chords of Time, till olden tales
And legends of the marvel-teeming Past,
Flash like Æolian music from the strings.

a

They come! the children of the North. They come ! The blue-eyed riders of the rolling surge, War cradled sons of Odin. The far north Flashes the sky into a crimson war, And ice-bound winds are loosed; and far and wide ? With open beak, the horrid bird of death, Flapping ill omens from his demon wings, Flies onward, onward; incantations weird Sweep all the waters, and mysterious spells, Dark hellish words engraven on their swords, Vow fierce libations to the battle-god. Wake! France awake! where is the mighty arm That kept so well the fatal mountain pass ? Where is the spirit of thy Charlemagne ? The death-storm that his wisdom saw arise, A little cloud bedimming his bright end, Sweeps down upon thee-up and arm-pour out The torrent of thy chivalry_flash all The stirring music of thy minstrelsies, Shake out the folded honour of thy flag To the wild battle breeze.

Ah no! his throne, Who drew the Cæsars' glory from their tombs,

2 The standard of the Norwegian vikingr was of white silk, with the figure of a raven, with open beak and outstretched claws. They were acoustomed to engrave runes or charms on their swords and oars.

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